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  • Author: Robert W. Vaagan x
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An International Survey


The paper takes as a starting point a recent EU Commission report on scientific publishing in Europe (Dewatripont et al 2006). In Norway, where a new system of documentation of scientific publishing was introduced in 2005, several of the recommendations in this report have already been anticipated. The Norwegian documentation system which has already proven controversial in parts of the research community and lacks parallells in other Nordic countries like Denmark and Sweden, is expected to have considerable consequences on Norwegian publishing patterns, such as increased use of electronic journals and of open standards such as Open Access and Open Source (Vaagan 2005). As e-publishing grows as part of the process of globalization, there is increasing awareness in many countries of ethical concerns in science and in scientific publishing, including the need for public access to publicly-funded research results. In this perspective, the paper links open standards in scientific communication and publishing to the principle of universality of science and to information ethics priorities identified by Capurro (2004). Qualitative methodology is used with critical & typical case sampling (Patton 2002) of key policy documents as well as international articles on e-publishing 2000-2005, especially from DLib magazine. In conclusion, it is suggested that open standards such as Open Access and Open Source are likely to increase in scientific publishing in the future, both in Norway and in the EU.

Norway currently has 362 academic, research and special libraries, most of which have developed websites to provide a variety of online services to users, including a growing number of part-time and distance education users. While most websites and services are provided in Norwegian only, forces of globalization are pushing institutions to provide an increasing range of services also in English. Based on an analysis of all 362 library websites, including a typical case sampling of three case studies, the article argues that an increasing amount of information will be made available in English on library websites, but that the process will stop short of full bilingual provision.

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